Here’s the second GIF I chose for the Flash Fiction Series:
And here’s the story! I hope you guys like this one. I pulled from current events to write this one.
The newspaper’s headline read: “The Rest of the World on Fire, What Are We Doing?”
Melodie finished reading the article and placed it on her oak desk. She leaned back in her chair and stared around her office space. She knew it was going to be a tough job when she decided to run for it, but she never expected catastrophes after catastrophes. She never expected to be blamed for something she had no control over. Mother Nature.
Still, she didn’t blame them for thinking all of it was her fault. She was the leader.
“Madame President?” Angie, Melodie’s Chief of Staff, stood at the doorway. “The briefing starts in half an hour. I have some talking points.”
Melodie nodded and got up from her desk she walked through the Oval Office to retrieve the tablet from Angie. Melodie scrolls through the points, shaking her head.
Climate change has been a long battle since before the 2020 crisis.
We’ve been working on making changes…
We’ll be implementing laws…
Melodie looked at Angie, “I can’t say all of this. They already know this. What else are we doing?”
“Madame President the Climate Change Task Force is working hard to dismantle everything that was set up before you. They can only enact a few policies at a time… and the people… either they’re not liking our stronghold government taking over or they don’t think we’re doing enough.”
“We are not doing enough. I told them we’ll be leading the world again in fixing our planet — or at least finding an alternative. Have we even looked for that?” Melodie handed the tablet back to Angie who shoves it under her arm.
“The space expedition is still in its infancy. We don’t have the resources to launch a universe search for a new planet. We have to work on this one.”
Melodie walked out of the office, Angie followed behind — and the Secret Service followed closely.
“Fifteen years ago, we vowed to help the planet heal, especially seeing the results after the pandemic. That was fifteen years ago, Angie. I was just graduating college and here I am. Dealing with the same shit because of bureaucracy and resources?”
“I know, I remember. What are you going to do at the briefing then?”
“All I can do right now is put on a brave face and tell them the truth. ‘We’re doing the best we can with what we have.’ And hope they are okay with it. Hell, this was going to be my only term anyway.” Melodie side-glanced at Angie who rolled her eyes in response.
“You’re always selling yourself short, I hate that.”
“Hey, you were the one who told me to run for president, remember?” Melodie nudged Angie slightly. “The first president to run: not married, no children, and with cats.”
“You won, though.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I guess now I’ll just be forever single since no man will ever want to date a former president.” Melodie and Angie laugh as they enter the waiting area to the press briefing room. Melodie peeked around the corner to see who was there. She sighed seeing that it was a packed room. She really didn’t have a clue how to handle this situation. Mother Nature does what she wants. There’s no stopping her.
Melodie took a deep breath and exhaled. Her face changed into “president mode” as she stepped out to the platform and took the podium. Something she learned from watching the 44th president on the news in high school. He was the reason she wanted to get into law and then, civil service.
“My fellow Americans, it’s with a heavy heart to notify you of the damages the wildfires are causing, not just around the world, but at our home nation as well.”
Melodie couldn’t help but think about tomorrow’s newspaper headline…
“PRESIDENT IS POWERLESS ON FIGHT AGAINST FIRES.”
And they wouldn’t be wrong. This would probably be the truest of the headlines yet.
“Until we can find the solution to fixing our planet, the damages will be severe. I urge you, my fellow Americans, to do your part by urging Congress to pass these spending bills to allow our Task Force to do what needs to be done. Fight Climate Change and fight these fires.”
Melodie hated pinning problems against Congress, but what president didn’t? She’ll have to talk with the speakers later to apologize. They were usually gracious when Melodie spoke with them in private, but like all other politicians in the public, they had to be upset.
As Melodie finished her speech she braced for the flood of questions. Brave face, she thought to herself. The room filled with “Madame President!” when she finished. She tried to answer the questions as best as she could. She couldn’t really hear herself speak. Everything she was saying she was just repeating what she said in the speech. These were the talking points Angie showed her. These were written by the top advisors and she had to stick to them — even if she wanted to do something else entirely.
Melodie wondered if any of the other presidents had it easier, but thinking back every term had its own challenges. In her lifetime, she can count at least ten.
But at this rate, hers might be the last.
I promise to try and make the next few stories a little more chipper. 🙂
Want to be one of the first to read these stories before it’s posted on the blog? Subscribe to the Rough Drafts tier on Patreon.
Click on the banner below or click here to subscribe.